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Theory: Health care as a political economic entity

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Chapter Summary

Political economic entities have historical legacies that are shaped by both internal and external activities. In many cases, the colonial experience provided the basis for the improvement of health care in the metropolitan center. Health care systems, from the colonial period through the present, placed emphasis on class, race, and gender, as well as the economics, and the geography of the systems. An analysis of postcolonial Africa indicates that imperialism did help to define emerging institutions and did help to restrict their growth as well as their range of possible alternatives. Because of this, one approach to understanding the implications of this is an assessment of the material basis of Africa’s historical development and its relation to the evolution of health care. Under these circumstances, one of the best ways to examine health care as a political economic entity is within the framework of imperialism.

Keywords: Africa’s historical development; colonial experience; health care; imperialism; metropolitan center; political economic entity; postcolonial Africa



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